Despite the awesomeness and diversity that the Furry fandom offers the world, there is a very narrow subset of furry content creation that has attained popular appeal within our community.
If you want to create and share furry art, there are at least a half dozen furry websites dedicated to furry art (including FurAffinity). If you want to watch people perform skits in fursuit, you have the Furry YouTube scene. If you want to watch furries play video games live, you have the Furry Twitch community (main hub: Furry Watch). There’s a thriving network of furries on Social Media websites like Twitter (which is where I’m most active). Hell, we even have successful authors who have published multiple books in our community (i.e. Kyell Gold).
But what we don’t see a lot of are furry bloggers. And I think that’s a mistake we should seek to correct.
Social media companies are pretty terrible, and having your entire community centralized and dependent on companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter is at best a fragile equilibrium.
Ask yourself this: When was the last time someone attacked furries–in a thinly-veiled attempt to attack LGBTQIA+ people but using furries as a dog-whistle so their queerphobia can fly under the radar–on one of these platforms, and never faced any consequences (account suspension, content removal, etc.)?
How many times have your queer friends had their accounts suspended for telling bigots to fuck off, but the bigots’ accounts remain privileged?
The sad truth is that, when it comes to social media, we are not their customers. We are the product being sold to advertisers.
To put it bluntly: If hate speech is ever proven to make ad campaigns more successful, social media companies will explicitly allow it. But even more than that: You can expect these companies to punish us instead.
This is as true for Furry Twitter as it is for Furry YouTube, Furry Twitch, Furry TikTok, Furry Amino, Furry Facebook, and even Furry LinkedIn. (No, I’m not kidding.)
That’s why furries should consider starting, and maintaining, their own blog. Yes, even you!
Why Blogs Are a Game-Changer
Starting a blog gives you control over your own message, without being subject to the whims of a soulless corporation (and/or venture capitalists).
You can absolutely use social media to share and promote the content you would otherwise be sharing exclusively with those social media companies. But those apps and platforms will cease to be the primary source for the work you pour your time and heart into.
If Jack Dorsey ever went full fascist and decided to ban all queer folks from Twitter, approximately 75% of the furry fandom would disappear from their platform overnight–including the most popular furries in each niche.
But if you had your content hosted on your own blog, your online presence would survive his Thanos snap.
Furry Blogs Provide Clearer Self-Expression
Furry Twitter users: Raise your paw if you’ve never had a tweet get taken out of context or misread by another person, and had to deal with the consequences of said miscommunication.
Short bursts of information are not always a reliable means to communicate an idea. Some things require a lot of framing, context, and nuance to express clearly.
Sometimes Twitter users like to work around this by writing a series of tweets (sometimes called “tweetstorms”). But this is a brittle strategy at best: What if one of the tweets in your thread fails to load, or gets taken down by malicious users sending false reports?
Either way, if your audience is presented with your words without the intended context, who can blame them for thinking you’re a terrible person who supports something terrible?
Blog posts don’t carry this risk: Long-form articles are very all-or-nothing.
Yes, you can still write carelessly. Yes, your audience can still misinterpret something. But this is always a risk with communication. Platforms like Twitter exacerbate the inherent risk with technical failures.
Without Furry Bloggers, We’re Left Out of the Conversation
There are a lot of bloggers and citizen journalists in the world. Every once in a while, one of them covers our community in a one-off article.
Not all bloggers are well-intentioned.
If we want the general public to stop acting shitty towards us (and especially towards younger furs), letting those bloggers have complete control over the public perception of our community is a huge fail.
Is There Already a Furry Blog Community?
Yes, but it’s not very large (yet).
The only furry blogs I’ve seen in the past few months (n.b. since I started Dhole Moments in April 2020) include:
- Dogpatch Press
- Eduardo Soliz
- Furry Times
- Furry Writers’ Guild
- Radicoon Register
- Rune’s Furry Blog
- The Productive Wuff
- Tiger Tales
- YellowZebra Sports
The furry fandom has a population easily in excess of 1 million worldwide, yet only about a dozen of us are actively blogging in 2020.
But My Interests Are Too Niche, Nobody Will Ever Want to Read About Them!
You have no way of knowing that unless you try!
I mostly write about cryptography, which isn’t exactly the most popular topic to read about on the Internet. And yet:
Regardless of how boring you might think your interests are to other people, writing about them is a win-win because:
- Blogging is an excellent way to express your passion for your interests.
- Writing is a skill that tends to improve with experience and deliberate practice.
- You will eventually find other people who share your interests, especially if one of your blog posts ranks high on search engines for oddly-specific search queries.
There’s almost no reason not to blog.
(Laziness isn’t a valid reason; they’re extremely easy to set up and most of you were already sharing content on social media websites to begin with.)
How Dhole Moments Will Help
Whether you’ve been convinced to start a blog by this article, or already had one and have been neglecting it, I want to help you get started.
I recently created a category called Featured Furries in order to feature a post on Fuzzballstorytime.com.
If you’re a furry who wants to blog, let me know your blog exists and I will feature one article from your blog in that category.
Disclaimer: If you support racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. you are not welcome to be featured on Dhole Moments, and can in fact go fuck yourself.
Header art was made by me! Isn’t it terrible? Now you know why I commission artists instead of trying to draw stuff myself.
But I chose to use my own sketches to illustrate a point with this article: It doesn’t matter very much if you’re not presently very good at something. Sure, if you do it, you’ll certainly improve your skills, but more importantly:
Impostor syndrome sucks, and we do everyone a service by resisting it within ourselves. It’s okay if your earliest blog posts are a little shitty.
If you want to make an impact on the world, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to consistently show up.
This post first appeared on Dhole Moments - Software, Security, Cryptography, And The Furry Fandom, please read the originial post: here